Antara Haldar

Antara HaldarAntara Haldar is the University Lecturer in Empirical Legal Studies at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge. She has also taught at Columbia University and the European University. She holds degrees in both law and economics, and specializes in law and development, law and economics and legal theory. She is currently a consultant to the United Nations on inclusive finance, and has served as an invited member of the academic committee of the American Bar Association’s World Justice Project and a core member of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue’s China Task Force. She has also been involved in legal reform projects in India, Canada and South Africa. She is a Research Associate at the Centre for Business Research at the Judge Business School at Cambridge, in which capacity she is co-investigator on a number of Economic and Social Research Council-funded grant projects. She was the recipient of the Yorke Prize in 2011 for “making a substantial contribution to legal knowledge.”

Papers Published in World Economics:

Taking Stock of Microfinance

This paper explores the current global turmoil in microfinance in the context of the problems that have arisen at SKS Microfinance in India. The authors argue that the roots of the current crisis lay in the attempt to scale-up the original “Grameen” model of microfinance set up in Bangladesh I order to establish profit-seeking bodies which have neglected the core value of trust underlying successful initiatives. Unfortunately, corrective steps may exacerbate existing problems. The founders of microfinance may have overestimated the impact of microfinance in abolishing poverty, but the hasty regulation that has been imposed to address some of the setbacks experienced in India, may only undermine further trust between borrowers and lenders. Undoubtedly, microfinance institutions have has an impact on economic exclusion, social change and on community building, but future growth in the sector may require a reversion to its original not for profit foundation.

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